10 January 2019

In 2017 the probability of a successful pregnancy after fertility treatment was greatest at Radboudumc. In that year, Radboudumc had the best outcomes of all fertility clinics in the Netherlands, not only for regular IVF and ICSI treatments, but also for cryogenic treatments.

When women have difficulty becoming pregnant, various treatments are possible in the Netherlands. The best known and most common treatments are IVF, ICSI and CRYO. If no sperm cells are present in the ejaculation fluid of the male, sufficient sperm can often be obtained with minor surgery: a puncture in the epididymis (PESA), or the testicle (TESE). An ICSI procedure can then be performed with the resulting sperm. 
But what is the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, i.e. a pregnancy that continues for at least ten weeks after these various fertility treatments? The Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (NVOG) recently published these figures (in Dutch) for 2017 on www.degynaecoloog.nl.

Never before has the national percentage of successful pregnancies after IVF been as high as it was in 2017. The overall success rate of IVF/ICSI per cycle increased from 34.2% in 2016 to 36.2% in 2017. In that year, 1348 IVF or ICSI treatments were performed at Radboudumc. After IVF treatment at this center, 114 women became pregnant, which is a success rate of 25.2% for Nijmegen compared to the national average of 18.8%. For the ICSI treatment, the success rate in Nijmegen was 32% compared to the national average of 22.1%. Radboudumc also achieved the best results in the Netherlands with the cryo-cycle treatment. According to Liliana Ramos, head of the IVF laboratory, this high success rate is due to two factors: the advanced method used to freeze the embryos (vitrification) and the implantation of the embryo in the uterus at the blastocyst stage (5 days after conception). The rate of successful cryo-pregnancies – 24.5% – was more than 8% higher than the average in the Netherlands.

Good results with male infertility
If no sperm cells are present in the ejaculation fluid of males, one option is to try to obtain sperm cells from the epididymis (PESA treatment) or the testicle (TESE treatment) via a minor surgical procedure (puncture). These sperm cells are then used for ICSI treatment: in the laboratory a sperm cell is injected in an egg cell. In 2017, ICSI-TESE treatments were performed for 473 couples in the Netherlands, of which 188 (40%) were at Radboudumc. The percentage of successful ICSI-TESE pregnancies after a puncture was 34.6%, more than 10% higher than the national average, and almost equal to a regular ICSI outcome. For this group of men it is very difficult to fulfill their desire to have children. 

The Department of Reproductive Medicine at Radboudumc is among of the five largest in the Netherlands. Besides fertility treatments for women, the Radboudumc expertise center for male infertility also offers treatments such as PESA and TESE.

Read the story of Thomas and Kirsten who became pregnant through TESE-ICSI treatment. After a scooter accident when he was 17, Thomas (now 33) became paralyzed from the waist down. He had no chance of becoming a father in the natural way. After an ICSI-TESE treatment, Thomas and his partner Kirsten (33) are now expecting. Almost halfway through the pregnancy – at 18 weeks – Thomas says that this was “the most beautiful thing that could happen to us”.


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